IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks with reporters in her office in Lansing, Mich. on Dec. 23, 2019.David Eggert / AP file

Michigan Attorney General on abortion rights: 'Once that’s gone, it’s gone.'

After Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks, Dana Nessel warns of "arbitrary whims."


After Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill Tuesday that would federally ban abortions after 15 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest, and the mother’s life, Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, says abortion protections rest in the hands of voters come November.

“What it would mean is for states like mine, once again, we will be subject to the arbitrary whims of those who are not truly representative of what people want,” Nessel said on Meet the Press Now, “if the Republicans end up becoming the majority again, nationally, I think we’re in real trouble in states like mine and all around the country, obviously.”

Nessel’s comments come after the Michigan Supreme Court struck down a 1931 restrictive abortion law that would further regulate abortion access in the state. Just a day later, the court ruled in favor of a ballot initiative this November that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. While Nessel is confident the ballot initiative will pass, the threat of Republican control come November could thwart the potential for further abortion protections statewide. 

“I have every confidence in the world that our ballot proposal will pass,” Nessel said, “So I think people need to be very careful about who they elect. … It’s incredibly important to know what their position is on this particular issue, because it might absolutely eviscerate any efforts that we’re making on a statewide level.”

While Republican messaging has centered on issues like growing inflation and the economy, Nessel believes turnout will increase with abortion now on the ballot in Michigan. 

“I’m certainly not minimizing the impact that inflation, that the cost of food, that the cost of gas and all of those things obviously have a very significant impact on an individual or on a family,” Nessel said, “but losing your right to reproductive freedom. I mean, once that’s gone, it’s gone.”